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Feeling Dirty

Shalom Linor,

I am 37, from Iraq. I was raped when I was 8 years old by a relative who was a teen ager at the time, he constantly threatened me that he would tell everyone, so I was turned into his sex slave for a short while. I remember feeling dirty and I would wash obsessively anytime anyone touched me, including my dad, if my dad gives me a hug or a kiss, I would wash because I felt dirty. I hated my dad because this person was his nephew, then as a teen I became desperate and needy of wanting to be loved by men.

At 25, I was having sex with many of them. Safe sex, of course, but I seldom felt loved or anything. I was yearning for sex as if it has become an obsession and I have heard that a rape victim either abstains or becomes obsessed with it. That of course has eased now, and I am not as promiscuous as I used to be. But, it does leave a scar for life. I can’t talk about this to anyone, because I am also Middle Eastern and you know how society frowns on rape victims. They make a woman feel like as if its her fault so you can imagine what it’s like for a man.

Did you feel the same way? Do you think you were raped because you were a beauty queen? I understand that it happened when you were Miss Israel and had not won Miss World yet. Or do you think it would have happened anyway? Did you feel scared and dirty, and has it affected your relationship with those who were close to you?

I don’t think I can ever speak about this in public because it would ruin my professional life, but I would appreciate it if I can get advice and just talk about it with someone who also went through the same thing.

— Ahmed

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